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EG5911R Information Literacy Skills for Research (Engineering): Citation Analysis


Citation analysis is a commonly used bibliometric method to examine the frequency, patterns, and graphs of citations in documents. These can help in making informed decisions on publication, author and journal in your subject domain.

Familiarize yourself with the following three aspects of Citation Analysis:

  • Article Level: Citation Count
  • Author Level: h-index
  • Journal Level: Journal Impact Factor

NUS Libraries conduct workshops on Citation Metrics. Watch out for NUS Libraries' newsletter.

To learn more, refer to Research Impact.

Citation Analysis

Citation count (or times cited) is the number of times a document is cited by other researchers.  It is sometimes used to indicate the research impact of the paper.

Some databases which give citation count are:

The h-index, or Hirsch index, is used to quantify the productivity (number of papers) and impact (number of citations) of an individual's scientific works.  For example, an h-index of 10 means an author has 10 papers that have been cited 10 or more times.

This is an example of Prof Hong MingHui's h-index in Scopus as per 1 August 2019.


Some databases which give h-index are:

h-index was introduced by J. E. Hirsch ("An index to quantify an individual's scientific research output", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 102, pp. 16569-16572) in 2005.

Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is a useful indicator to assess the impact and quality of journals in a subject area.  It is used for comparing journals and does not compare articles within that journal.  It does not indicate the impact of a researcher's work compared to his peers.

JIF is generated by using Journal Citation Reports, JCR (Clarivate Analytics).

JCR is released yearly in July in two editions, i.e. JCR Science Edition and JCR Social Sciences Edition.  You would be able to get the number of articles published in the journal, number of citations from articles in the journal, impact factor and more data from the report.

Impact factor is the average number of citations received per paper published in that journal during the two preceding years.

To understand impact factor and JCR, refer to:

To identify the top journals by impact factor in your subject area, refer to Engineering & Computer Science Subject Guides' Journals tab.